June is men’s health awareness month and thanks to my instagram family we get to talk about the Elephant in the bedroom.
According to statistics one in five men aged over 40 suffer from some degree of Erectile Dysfunction (ED). A study done in Buluba found the prevalence of ED in rural Uganda to be as high as 47.8%. I didn’t find a lot of research done in Uganda on the subject which is probably the reason for the ignorance that surrounds it.
I’m happy we get to have these kinds of conversations especially because Erectile Dysfunction is something we prefer to only whisper about. In a society that upholds so many aspects of toxic masculinity men are naturally shy to have these conversations or own up when things aren’t working right. In some cases women are forced to carry the blame for not being “sexy” enough or not conceiving.
Erectile Dysfunction , also called impotence, occurs when a man can’t or finds it difficult to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse, or if it interferes with other sexual activity.
In this post I put together basic information everyone needs to know about erectile dysfunction. Hopefully after this we will not hear talk about who is bewitching who and men will understand that conception works two way and is not always the woman’s fault. I would also love to see more churches make altar calls for prayers not just for barren women but for men too. I digress.
Brethren let’s get into the reason for our gathering, shall we?
The first question is how do you know that you possibly have ED.
The symptoms of ED can include any of the following:
Trouble getting an erection
Trouble keeping an erection
Reduced sexual desire
After knowing that whatever you have been suffering with might be erectile dysfunction, the next question is why me? Or rather what are the Causes and Risk factors that predispose one to ED.
Common causes and Risk factors of ED
ED can be caused by a range of physical and psychological factors and is more common in older men but any male adult is at risk. Various risk factors can predispose you to erectile dysfunction, including:
-Medical conditions, particularly diabetes or heart conditions
-Tobacco use, which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries and over time may cause chronic health conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction.
-Being overweight, especially if you’re obese
-Certain medical treatments, such as prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer
-Injuries, particularly if they damage the nerves or arteries that control erections
-Medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate conditions
-Drug and alcohol use, especially if you’re a long-term drug user or heavy drinker
-Mental Health conditions like Depression, stress, fatigue, and sleep disorders can contribute to ED by disrupting feelings of sexual excitement in the brain.
-Guilt and fear of intimacy
-porn induced erectile dysfunction
All in all its important to note that there is an overlap between medical and psychosocial causes of Erectile Dysfunction.
After knowing the causes and risk factors next is to explore possible complications if you choose to ignore the problem at hand. Complications are why you need to deal with Erectile Dysfunction as soon as you suspect it.
Here are some of the common complications of Erectile Dysfunction
-An unsatisfactory sex life
-Stress or anxiety
-Embarrassment or low self-esteem
-The inability to get your partner pregnant
And finally let’s talk about possible treatments and preventive measures you can take
The good news first of all is that erectile dysfunction is now better understood and there are various treatment options that you can discuss with your doctor.
Firstly you need to know that treatment for ED consists of lifestyle changes, medical treatments and other non medical interventions.
-Do not self medicate for erectile dysfunction. Some of the popular drugs on the market have serious side effects and are contraindicated in certain conditions. There are also vacuum devices and surgical treatments that you need to discuss with your doctor and choose what is best for you.
-Stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and avoid abusing drugs as much as possible.
-Exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, running, and bicycling help shed pounds and increase oxygen and blood flow throughout the body, including your penis.
-Take steps to reduce stress. Cultivate a mental health self care routine to help you deal with the daily life’s stresses and make sure you get help for anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns.
-Manage diabetes, heart disease or other chronic health conditions that put you at risk of ED.
-Discuss medications with your doctor, you might also consider surgical interventions and vacuum devices.
-Talk about it with your partner. ED can be frustrating to deal with a lone and having open conversation with your partner can be helpful to provide moral support as you work towards a solution.
All in all ED is not the end of the road and ED happens. Difficulty keeping an erection once in a while is normal and may happen from time to time but if it persists it’s important that you talk through it with your doctor and work towards a solution.
That’s just about it bloggren. I’m sorry I went MIA throughout the month but better late than never.. No?
Also Please feel free to share with me your thoughts on ED and this post as a whole. How do you think we can create awareness around ED?
Bellows of love
©Tales of a Curious mind